I have long since abandoned the misconception that world governments and the media are sources of reliable information. Instead, I have come to the conclusion that public statements from each of those two elements of “civilized society” are far more likely, upon close analyses, to reveal their self-serving motives and the sources of their power and financial strength. And, as the saying goes, “actions speak louder than words,” so regardless of what governments and the media say, their behaviors frequently are even more revealing than their precisely spun statements.
One need look only as far as Fox News to see an unabashedly biased media outlet feeding at the trough of is source of strength and sustenance. But lest my liberal friends pound their chests as they join my attack on right-wing misinformation factories, let me suggest that a truly unbiased viewing of MSNBC, CNN, and others will reveal what an only slightly less slanted, though decidedly left-leaning perch. Nor can one look outside the U.S. with the expectation that sources of news and information will more closely represent the “truth” than their U.S. counterparts. Al Jazeera, whose website I have long since decided may be less biased than its U.S. CNN cousin, frequently is unsuccessful in hiding its bias.
A friend this morning mentioned Chavez and Venezuela. There’s more evidence of media and governmental manipulation of “facts” there. Take a look at the online “independent website produced by individuals who are dedicated to disseminating news and analysis about the current political situation in Venezuela,” at http://venezuelanalysis.com/ and decide just how “independent” the site really is.
And let’s not forget that these “news” sites frequently are poorly-disguised mouthpieces of governments they support, and that support them. Take a look at the CIA Factbook and you’ll find a vast pool of misinformation masquerading as “fact.” Back to Venezuela, here is what the CIA Factbook says about that country, in its “background’ statement:
Current concerns include: a weakening of democratic institutions, political polarization, a politicized military, rampant violent crime, overdependence on the petroleum industry with its price fluctuations, and irresponsible mining operations that are endangering the rain forest and indigenous peoples.;
Compare that with the nuanced way in which the CIA describes our own U.S.A.:
Buoyed by victories in World Wars I and II and the end of the Cold War in 1991, the US remains the world’s most powerful nation state. Since the end of World War II, the economy has achieved relatively steady growth, low unemployment and inflation, and rapid advances in technology.
While one could argue that both statements are correct, there are plenty of people who are not driven by political agendas and provincial motives who would argue vehemently against them. I am no apologist for Hugo Chavez, but I seriously doubt that the maniac depicted by U.S. politicians and U.S. news sources exists. There’s no question he is driven by a Marxist/socialist vision, but that does not translate into the personification of evil. But I have to question whether statements made by Chavez can be believed; after all, during a speech to the U.N. a few years ago, he claimed George Bush was the “devil” and said he could still smell the sulphur left by Bush’s presence at the lectern. (I will admit my own bias here; I rather enjoyed that attack on Bush.)
It’s not all about the U.S. and its principale South American antagonist. Look at media reports and politically-motivated statements of “fact” coming out of Russia, the Middle East, western Africa…everywhere…and there are indications that the “truth” being delivered by the media and the governments toward which they are supposedly working to lift the veil of lies is simply spin.
I don’t trust any of them. And I don’t know what’s true. And I don’t think I will ever be allowed to know reality. That disturbs me, but it doesn’t surprise me. Lies are the stuff of revolution. Government and the media are, then, revolutionaries in the making. Revolutions engender more lies. What a bleak, bleak, bleak way to look at the world. But what other way is there?